By Marilyn Halpern, MSW, LSW ~
“Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.” – Albert Camus
Many of us have seen images of the record-breaking container ships tranquilly docked in the ocean waiting to enter the ports. An aerial view captures the enormous backlog of containers stacked high. There is a lot of merchandise waiting to get to consumers for the holiday season.
Fortunately, in Colorado, we have an amazing opportunity to celebrate gift-giving in a whole new, meaningful way – no container goods needed. ‘Tis the season to spread the love, so why not share a gift that gives all year long? Make compassionate choices this holiday season with thoughtful, local and ethical gifts for those you love most.
Love animals? Who doesn’t? Consider adopting an animal at the Wild Animal Sanctuary. “Lions, tigers and bears, oh my!” Check out adoption information here: https://www.wildanimalsanctuary.org/
Small business boom. 303 Magazine has compiled over 400 black-owned, local businesses. Visit and maintain our diverse marketplace by adding these businesses to your holiday shopping plans: https://303magazine.com/2020/06/black-owned-businesses-denver/
Good grub. Local restaurants are still trying to claw out of the pandemic chaos. Visit your favorite local restaurants during the holidays and don’t forget to pick up a gift card for someone special on your shopping list.
Memberships. Everyone enjoys being able to return to Denver’s iconic museums again and again. The Children’s Museum of Denver, Denver Art Museum, Denver Botanic Gardens, and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science are just a few of the hundreds of local attractions that offer a variety of membership options.
The ultimate in supporting our thriving community is donating to Colorado Gives Day on Tuesday, December 7. With over 3,000 organizations listed, you will find a non-profit that appeals to every person on your shopping list. This is a great opportunity to make a donation in your loved one’s name. Insider’s tip: search by non-profit name or search by cause. Colorado Gives Day: www.coloradogives.org
Begin with the basics. Over 10% of individuals report they will not be purchasing any holiday gifts this year. To ease the financial burden of these families, Denver Rescue Mission is encouraging individuals, families and groups to sponsor Housewarming Boxes to be used right here in Colorado. This is such a meaningful activity to do with the special kids in your life. Grab the online list and head to the store for a scavenger hunt to find the essential items. Don’t forget to top off your shopping with a festive meal. Housewarming boxes are due December 11. More information: https://secure.denverrescuemission.org/event/2021-housewarming-boxes/e353665
Aspen Care Services has compiled an extensive list of businesses that support individuals with intellectual and developmental challenges. Check out the 2021 Holiday Guide: www.aspencareservices.com/shop-for-a-cause-1
Local thrift stores can be shopping gems. You can get great deals and unique gifts, all while keeping items out of the landfill. This holiday season, consider making a trip to Demi’s Animal Rescue Thrift Store and Cat Lodge. This small store is beautifully decorated and has two cat lodge rooms which are guaranteed to make you smile. While in the neighborhood, stop by the Assisted League Thrift Store within the same block. You’ll find these two treasures near S. Holly Street and Evans Avenue in South Denver.
Heirloom giving. This holiday season consider gifting special treasures of quilts, china, jewelry, coins, or military memorabilia. Often what makes these items so special is the story behind the keepsake. Precious belongings are best shared, story and all.
Share the true spirit of the holiday season by consciously creating a better world, one gift at a time. From our home to yours, have a joyful, safe holiday season.
Marilyn Halpern is the founder and executive director of Aspen Care Services. This locally owned business provides medical power of attorney, care management and professional guardianship services in the Denver Metro area. For more information visit – www.aspencareservices.com.
Photo credit: Dick Vogel